August 5, 2020 Great American Jewish Cities #14: Miami
Original home to the Miami Boys Choir and to the Jewish owned Miami Heat, Palm Beach County also has the largest concentrated Jewish population in the world outside of Israel.
Though attractive as the sunny alternative to the harsh New York winter, the Miami Jewish community developed independently building infrastructure and institutions. It was in the post war era that things began to take off. The visionary Rabbi Alexander Gross was one of the great architects of the community's growth. Other early leaders of the community included Rabbis Aryeh Rottman, Berel Wein, along with the early shluchim Rav Avraham & Rivka Korf and later the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Leibel Schapiro. The Yeshiva with Rabbi Yochanan Zweig at the helm has greatly impacted the community as well.
Yet through the decades Miami had been famous for hosting great Jewish leaders who vacationed there during the winter months. This phenomenon would have a long lasting and unique impact on the community's growth along with the exposure to the diversity of the entire Jewish people.
With Larry King, Myer Lansky and Ron Dermer all making appearances as well, the story of the Jews of South Florida is another glorious chapter in American Jewish History.
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